My grandmother was born and raised in Chicago, but these wafers seem to me to be Southern in origin. Not only are they topped with pecans, but their flavor profile bears an uncanny resemblance to a classic Southern spread: pimento cheese. Regardless of where they come from you’ll find them rich, tasty and refined. Begin by preheating your oven to 325. Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl or the bowl of a mixer fitted with the beater and stir on low.
When the dry ingredients are combined, add in the soft butter.
Beat on medium for about two minutes until a dough forms, about like so:
Now add the finely grated cheddar cheese.
The trick to this recipe is to incorporate the cheese thoroughly, to the point that the mixture is virtually homogenous, like a spread. This is why a mixer is handy. If you don’t have one, just knead the dough aggressively until you don’t see the individual shreds of cheese much anymore.
Now roll the dough into small balls and lay them out on an ungreased sheet pan or cookie sheet.
Press them down lightly into disks…
…and top each with a pecan.
Bake about half an hour, cool completely, then break out the peanuts, Manhattans and gin & tonics — because it’s cocktail hour, my friends. Have a lovely weekend.